Construction Business Miscommunication

construction communication

There is a big market for articles, studies, and how-tos about communication in the construction business. The reason is obvious: miscommunication is extremely costly to our industry. Fifty-two percent of construction business rework is caused by miscommunication. In 2018, that cost our industry $31.3 billion.

We’ve all felt the pain of miscommunication in the field and know that it’s led to rework, lost productivity, and coordination stress.Core

Statistics: Construction Business Issues in Communication

More than 30% of construction business professionals say the breakdown is not the failure to communicate but a failure to respond to communications.

What you need to know:

  • 22% – Emails read-rate
  • 82% – Text messages read within five minutes
  • 98% – SMS messages read-rate

Sending texts and SMS messages increases the likelihood your communication will be read. But what can you do to minimize the lack of response?

Ask for feedback, says Procore, and follow-up when your messages and other forms of communication are ignored. You may want to consider adding a “Please respond by…” to all texts and emails.

Onsite Meeting Information Processing Problems

As a contractor, watch for signs your workers are actually processing the information during onsite meetings. Lack of eye connection is the biggest giveaway. They “connect” with you at the beginning and the end of the meeting but disengage during the information-sharing portion. Project communication problems leading to reworks can be reduced if you know what to look for.

Here are six reasons why workers aren’t paying attention during onsite meetings:

  1. There is a personal problem.
  2. They are confused but don’t want to ask questions.
  3. They are preoccupied with pressure to quickly complete a task.
  4. They aren’t comfortable speaking about jobsite issues in front of others.
  5. They can’t hear over the jobsite background noise and are embarrassed to admit it.
  6. You don’t give them a chance to ask questions.

Construction Monitor Weekly Editions

Construction Monitor makes building permit data available to everyone. We can customize it to work for you and your construction business. Our customized weekly information targets your market development interests.

Call 800.925.6085 or contact Construction Monitor today.

Commercial Spending, Infrastructure Boosts Engineering and Construction Industry

construction industry

In 2020, while many businesses floundered, Dollar General’s sales increased by 16.3%, and operating profits grew to $3.6 billion. Dollar General announced it will add 1,050 stores in 2021, with plans to double the size of its current 17,000 stores. The two designs feature 8,500 and 9,500 square feet. In 2021, about 700 stores featuring the larger design will sell produce and meat. Self-checkout stations will also be included.

Dunkin’ Donuts opened its thousandth “Next Generation” restaurant in March 2021. The store’s design meets DD Green Achievement status for energy savings by using sustainable materials. Efficiency elements include LED lighting, low-flow faucets, and energy-efficient equipment.

And Shoe Carnival plans massive renovations for 2021.

“An uptick in public and commercial spending” could make 2021 a profitable year for the construction industry, says Deloitte. Retail expansions and development will feature prominently, but another factor influencing construction industry developments is digital investment.

Construction Industry To See $3-4 Trillion Infrastructure Proposal

President Biden was scheduled to release details of a huge infrastructure proposal on March 31, 2021. The proposal should include “significant investments to repair roads, bridges and railways, as well as other key elements of an aging and, in some places, dilapidated US core infrastructure system,” said CNN.

Digital Data and Your Construction Industry Business

Our software statistics were some companies’ first experience with the construction digital transformation process. David Mineer

National construction industry news impacts every one of us. Just as some companies are growing, expanding space and operations, some engineering and construction firms are thriving in their local markets. We believe those companies invest in digital information to develop marketing leads and better-manage projects.

We learned from 2008. We learned from 2020. If you aren’t sure how Construction Monitor’s presorted building permits and construction industry data can benefit your company, please ask us. That’s how you learn.

How Would PRO Act Impact Construction Business?

construction industry

Passage of the PRO Act would represent the biggest change in labor law in decades. –National Law Review

On March 9, 2021, the United States House of Representatives passed the Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act. They also passed it in 2019, but it never made it out of the Senate. The bill currently has 45 backers. It needs 60.

The impact on construction business operations could be profound because PRO passage may reclassify some independent contractors as employees.

Construction Business Operations Depend on Independent Contractors

Independent contractors step in when short-term talent is needed. Employers don’t pay benefits, workers’ compensation, or withhold taxes. It’s an uncomplicated business arrangement that is beneficial to employers. We use the IRS guidelines to define construction business independent contractors and their work. If passed, the PRO Act would make employment guidelines much more stringent. It would also expand unionization rights.

Workers will be considered employees unless:

  • The service is performed outside the usual course of the business of the employer.
  • The worker is customarily engaged in an independently established trade, occupation, profession, or business of the same nature as that involved in the service performed.
  • The worker is free from control and direction in connection with the performance of the service, both under the contract for the performance of service and in fact.

Most of the time, an independent contractor’s work is performed within “the usual course of business.” This could be the most significant change and there will be harsh penalties ($50,000-$100,000) for violations, including miscommunicating to the worker what their role is (employee vs. independent contractor). Those fines could be devastating to a small construction business.

The Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) have said the independent contractor provision will increase costs for construction business employers by $12.1 billion annually. The Associated General Contractors of America (AGC) says, “The PRO Act is anti-worker, anti-privacy, and anti-recovery.”

Data for Construction Business Building

Construction Monitor is the source for U.S. building statistics. Call 800.925.6085 (International/435.586.1205) or contact us to learn more about ways to use building permit data to build your business.

Construction Trends for Repurposing Malls

construction trends

In 1956, the first U.S. mall opened in Edina, Minnesota. There are entire generations that spent formative years in shopping malls. And construction trends for more malls kept many companies busy for many years.

Over 50% Of Department Stores in Malls Predicted to Close By 2021

U.S. Retail Vacancy Rate May Rise To 7-Year High After Record Store Closings

Macy’s closing 45 More Locations in 2021: What Will Malls Do?

Mall Construction Trends: Now What?

As of 2020, Macy’s was malls’ biggest tenant, and Macy’s has a 3-year plan to shut down 125 stores by 2023. Who’s going to replace Macy’s? It’s silly for mall operators to expect another retail chain to fill the void Macy’s will leave, says financial professional Maurie Backman.

There they sit. Plenty of parking, acres and acres of space. Before they become retail graveyards, what can we do? What can we develop?

Repurposing Ideas

The first and foremost repurposing idea is to develop medical spaces. Vaccination sites dominate, but pandemic mass inoculation may be a temporary event. Healthcare providers are considering mall spaces for primary care offices, specialty care centers, or oncology treatment facilities.

Other ideas include:

  • Churches – Some churches are saying “Hallelujah!” as they take ownership of mall sections. Plus they have room to grow.
  • Gamer sites – Epic Games bought a Cary, NC mall and intends to convert the property. Its entire campus will serve as global gamer headquarters for offices and community space.
  • Offices – If your company is paying rent for several office spaces, centralization can save money.
  • Warehouses – E-commerce/retail fulfillment is big business and even Walmart is seeking space solutions. Modular warehousing can be built inside or added-to a mall space.

Construction Monitor: The Tool for Trend-Setters

Reconfiguring mall spaces will be the construction trend to watch. Or you can be one of the drivers.

Construction Monitor is the nation’s leading source for construction trends. Use our building statistics to develop real-time leads. We’ll show you how.

Call 800.925.6085 (International/435.586.1205) or contact us to learn more about ways to use building permit data.

All-Inclusive: U.S. Construction Industry

construction industry

When you hire a minority employee, you’ve often hired someone with a greater ability to adapt. This is a person that has likely overcome adversity and may have better “survival skills” than most. That’s an advantage to any construction industry company.

One of the questions on the government’s Office of Personnel Management’s website reflects many construction industry companies’ unspoken thoughts: “Are there really any tangible benefits to diversity and inclusion? Isn’t this just corporate jargon?”

The advantages of diversity in the workplace are real:

  • Broader range of experiences added to decision-making and problem-solving
  • Greater employee retention
  • Higher employee morale
  • Improved company reputation and brand perception
  • Increased productivity and profitability

Construction Industry Companies Can Be Leaders in Diversity

Construction projects serve as a critical stabilizing force in many communities, especially during the pandemic… economic focus will turn to construction projects and their capacity to serve as a catalyst for economic growth. Construction Dive

You will be encountering more construction industry projects that have diversity requirements. Avoiding those potentials for profit because you don’t know how to track and manage reports proving diversity compliance is a formula for failure.

The right software can:

  • Eliminate security issues (subcontractors emailing personal worker information)
  • Lower liability (run data-checks to ensure project compliance)
  • Provide a single location for contractors/subs to submit workforce data
  • Provide real-time information
  • Reduce errors caused by manually inputting data into spreadsheets

When bidding on projects that include diversity hiring initiatives and requirements, being able to say you already have the process in place gives you a competitive edge. “This is an opportunity to demonstrate how your projects bring opportunity and positively shape communities for generations to come,” says software company SkillSmart*.

Technology for the Construction Industry Increases Your Profits

Any software that gives you better management and tracking capabilities is an investment; not an expense. The building permit data we have provided since 1989 was, for many construction industry companies, their first investment in acquiring information software technology provides.

Construction Monitor continues to utilize data analytics for better business development. And marketing development people – like you – continue to track construction leads using our information.

Call 800-925-6085 or contact us to learn more.

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*Construction Monitor does not recommend nor endorse any technology company products (except ours). References are for informational use only.

Construction Technology: Ways We Can Work Together

construction technology

We talk about construction industry-related businesses as if there are non-construction industry-related businesses. The fact is construction impacts every business, every person. Probably the greatest benefit we’ve realized from construction technology is the ability to connect.

Construction is the foundation of nearly every other industry.Autodesk

The Value of Connecting Using Construction Technology

Construction projects today are more complex. Failure to recognize that our processes need to be managed differently can put your company at the bottom of the food chain. No one will need your services because you can’t deliver what others can.

Possibly the most important key to becoming a leader in construction projects – from bidding through delivery – is developing an effective communication chain using construction technology.

Yes, you’re going to need software.*

Traditionally, every project is separated into sectors and each sector does its own thing. This has been the only way to work we knew, and it led to miscommunication, duplicated efforts, wasted time and materials, and do-overs.

“Predictability” is programmed into construction technology software. Based on proven probabilities, you can now make more informed decisions; that’s critical. But making those decisions while connecting in real-time with key players is even more important.

Construction technology drives:

  • Collaboration
  • Ongoing insights into project performance
  • Real-time data available to every sector and every team

And more. You’ll also realize:

Better Bidding

Your relationships with construction professionals that have mentored you are valuable. Bidding software supplements those relationships and builds new relationships.

You’ll be able to bid quickly and with greater accuracy than ever before. Autodesk says its software can even “de-risk partner selection.” You may find partnering with friends isn’t as profitable as making new friends.

Software Technology for Project Development

Building permit information is free, but the information you need is unique. Building permit data is like the top of a huge funnel. You have to sort the information several times to get what you can use.

The Construction Monitor team has tried manually sorting the information from broad-and-generic to what you need. It takes a lot of time and effort. Do you really want to do it yourself? Our software works faster and delivers proven results.

Tell us what you want, what you need. We’ll partner with you to find profitable leads. Contact Construction Monitor today.

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*Construction Monitor does not endorse nor recommend any software brand or company (except ours). The information we share is for educational use only.

Construction Industry Remains Union-Strong

construction industry

The February 2020 unemployment rate was low: 3.5%. But by December, it was 6.7%. In tough economic times, most of us will take work when and where we can get it.

Less pay for more work thrives during chaos. Despite the pandemic layoffs, 2020 union membership remained strong in the construction industry.

Construction Industry Unions Thrive Despite Pandemic

Construction industry union membership percentages dipped in 2019 but actually increased in 2020 to 12.7%. In 2019, nonunion wages for construction industry workers were 29% less than union members’ wages.

However, union wages decreased from $1,240/week in 2019 to $1,234/week in 2020. Nonunion members’ salaries went up, from $868/week to $920/week.

The Economic Policy Institute says the 2020 pandemic emphasized what unions have been trying to change for decades: U.S. labor law fails to protect working people. 

In spite of their critical role in providing necessary services, these (construction industry) workers have been working
without access to fundamental protections like personal
protective equipment or paid sick leave.
epi.org

Few take campaign promises seriously, but we can always hope. If the Biden presidency follows-through, the Build Back Better energy plan will add more union jobs this year.

Construction Monitor Increases Work Opportunities for Businesses Like Yours

You’d be surprised at the number of “unofficial” construction industry companies that use building permit data to make marketing decisions. A food truck owner can learn where job sites will be located in the spring and summer by studying building permit applications this week.

One savvy light fixtures salesperson looks for bathroom and kitchen remodeling permits. “If you’re getting a plumbing overhaul, replacing old lighting with modern, ‘smart’ adds an affordable feel-good factor to a renovation expense,” she says.

Construction industry companies use our data analytics to chase leads and build business. Learn more about how we can customize the information you need. Email, call 800-925-6085, or contact Construction Monitor.

Construction Industry Trends and Tools

construction  industry trends

Construction-specific tools are taking over,” says construction content writer Anastasios Koutsogiannis. And he’s talking about data analytics, digital solutions, and software. Construction industry trends for better project management will be taking us cloud-high this year.

One Project, One Data Source

Project managers say they spend 40% of their time in meetings, on phone calls, or writing after-the-fact reports. A single data source consolidates everything and reduces your miscommunication margin of error substantially.

If you think in spreadsheet-speak, think of a centralized data source as one spreadsheet with lots of tabs. Centralized project communications – all the project information from every source – will save time and money like never before.

Integrated planning will gather all the sources of data – your team’s different project management software outputs – and pull them into one, manageable place. It’s not easy at first, but it’s absolutely key to better project management.

Safety, Quality Focus

The new administration asked OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) “to determine whether to establish an emergency temporary standard to keep workers safe from COVID-19.” President Biden is also requesting OSHA to target and penalize worksites that do not adhere to safety protocols in 2021.

In 2020, the Labor Department/OSHA issued $3,930,381 in coronavirus violations; failure to comply:

Look for ways to link the quality of work and safety directly to phase one project planning. It minimizes waste, delays, and improves overall quality.

We’ve Got Information You Need on a Need-To-Know-Basis

You can make informed decisions when you get the right information. Construction Monitor is the nation’s leading source for construction industry trends.

Our information can drive your marketing this year and beyond:

Call 800.925.6085 (International/435.586.1205) or contact us today to learn more about using business permit data to increase business opportunities.

4 Reasons Why Our Construction Industry Is Changing

Construction Industry

The construction industry changes within the last 10 years have been profound. Here’s why:

1. Client Expectations

It’s no longer enough to have a portfolio that displays what you did for someone else. (But don’t throw it out or delete that website page – its value has not diminished in the least.)

Technology demands you be able to show clients what you can do for them. Clients expect their construction projects to be customized, specific, and they expect energy-efficient solutions and improved safety-and-health options.

2. Less Resistance To Change

The construction industry is historically slow to embrace change but that in itself has been our biggest revolution. And the new, tech-driven jobs are attracting valuable talent, eager to create and build.

3. Startups Are Thriving

The new kids on the block are finding construction industry market opportunities fast. They’re also quick to locate funding.

4. Technology Innovations

The possibilities are limitless! Additive printing, augmented and virtual reality, drones, robotics, and additive printing; construction industry professionals say hardware and software investments are well worth it.

Continuing To Trend: Key Influencers

Technological and digital trends that will continue to evolve and dominate our industry include:

  • BIM – Building information modeling is 5-D technology that has been a game-changer for the construction industry. It will continue to be a foundation for project decision-making.
  • Building materials – Introduction of new building materials (like self-healing concrete) will lower materials costs as well as improve quality and safety.
  • Digital workflows – Workflow solutions deliver better design management, materials tracking, scheduling, crew management, and more.
  • High-definition surveying – GPS, new photo technologies; 3-D laser scanning will continue to improve turnaround times and accuracy.
  • Productivity management – In addition to workflow software solutions, NFC (near-field-communication) devices and sensors improve construction industry productivity.

Construction Monitor Technology Builds Business

Building permit information is a key influencer in developing business leads. With one report, you can learn more about commercial, residential, and solar construction projects in your area than from any other source.

Request a sample edition. If you have questions, contact us today.

Construction Industry Trends in U.S. Cities

construction industry trends

Finding new ways to maximize profits will be one of the construction industry trends you should explore this year. And maybe partnering with other companies can be the key to better business.

Here are five top metro areas for 2021 construction:

1. Austin – The Heart of Texas

Construction projects in Austin were affected by the pandemic. Some jobs simply ended or were put on hold indefinitely. Still, construction industry trends are bringing more contractors to Austin. Residential construction is driving most company business. One of the most notable large projects is the $338 million University of Texas Moody Center Arena.

2. Chicago Has Global Reach

Data centers are among the construction industry trends impacting Chicago in many ways. “With so many businesses turning to online work, there’s more than just the demand for data driving construction,” says Andy Stapleton of Mortenson Company. Chicago is becoming a distribution hub for online purchases, and the number of higher-education facilities near Chicago provides plenty of employee pools.

3. Down in Miami, Construction Is Up

The Magic City has a higher quality of life, reasonably low property taxes, no state income tax, and the best weather in the country. Peter Tuffo of Suffolk Construction says construction industry trends in Miami are brisk, thanks to year-round work. Some in-the-works projects include:

  • Condominiums
  • K-12
  • Luxury living accommodations
  • Market-rate rentals
  • Tourism-related cruise terminals

4. Seattle Remains Positioned for Growth

Construction spending is down, but hopes are high in Seattle. The need for office space pre-pandemic has not resumed, and one project, the Washington State Convention Center, currently suffers a financing shortfall. “Renewal comes in all shapes and sizes,” says Eric Olsen, Clark Construction.

5. Shuffle Off to Buffalo

“Buffalo has everything a great city needs,” says Richard Cavallaro, Gilbane Building Co. These include an airport, public transportation, reasonable cost of living, and cultural opportunities. Several companies are looking to invest in affordable housing new builds for this New York state community.

Using Data To Analyze Construction Industry Trends

Building permit data isn’t exactly new information, but ways to use it continue to evolve. What kind of data would help your business this year? Let us know. Contact Construction Monitor today.